Joseph Magidow grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He and his siblings learned the importance of good, wholesome food early on, ideals instilled by his Southern California mother, who harvested vegetables from her garden and prepared meals made from scratch daily.
At Macalaster College, Joseph’s interest in food evolved as the chef’s knife began to beckon more than the textbook, and soon his proficiency in the kitchen rivaled his academic studies. His culinary passions only deepened during a period of study abroad in the South of France. Upon his return, he decided to find part time work in a kitchen by talking his way into a job at Tracy’s, a local dive bar turned neighborhood restaurant. For the next few years, he juggled a double major in economics and statistics while working at the restaurant. After graduation, as jobs in the economic sector were scarce, he took a full time position as kitchen manager at Tracy’s. A few months later, Joseph landed a job at Bar La Grassa from celebrated chef and restaurateur Isaac Becker. This post symbolized an important point in his professional development since it was at that moment that he decided to fully commit to cooking and leave economic pursuits behind. For the next year, he cooked his way through each station while learning the intricacies of running a restaurant.
A year later, Joseph serendipitously found his next position in San Francisco. After meeting a Delfina line cook at a party, he decided on a whim to turn his already planned California vacation into a Bay Area relocation. He arrived in San Francisco at 9am September 2010 and began his stage at the celebrated Italian restaurant at 1pm that same day. He worked the line at Delfina for nine months before joining the opening team at Locanda, the restaurant group’s Roman osteria, staying for nearly a year. From there, he was promoted to sous chef first at Pizzeria Delfina and then at the original Delfina restaurant, where he cooked for over three years.
In January 2015, Joseph left Delfina, wanting to recharge his sense of culinary wonderment by experimenting with new cuisines and hopefully becoming an executive chef. This new challenge came in June 2016, when he met first-time restaurateur Azhar Hashem and was hired to be the executive chef of Tawla, a contemporary Eastern Mediterranean restaurant rooted in a Northern California ethos. Joseph worked closely with Azhar to “recalibrate” his palate and expand his techniques, transitioning from his Italian context to an Eastern Mediterranean framework.